Grant Godfrey
Senior Program Manager, Great Lakes & Post-Conflict Countries, Central & West Africa
Washington, DC

Since joining NDI in 2003, Senior Program Manager Grant D. Godfrey has developed and overseen programs to strengthen political processes in over a dozen countries in Central and West Africa. He has specifically concentrated on democracy assistance in conflict-affected contexts, through programs that support interparty dialogue, election transparency and reform, greater social cohesion and citizen participation in governance, and political party development. Godfrey's work at NDI draws on his knowledge of international development and experience as a public interest lawyer. Before joining the Institute, he served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Minignan, Cote d'Ivoire, where he focused on community development and building environmental management capacity at the local level.

Central African Republic: Can Legitimacy Last?

Alain Kinzinguere of NDI partner the Central African Human Rights League (right, gesturing) discusses the benefits of a community-built stockyard (background) with the village chief of Damara (left center in coat).

For more than a year after President Faustin Archange Touadera’s surprise runoff victory, the Central African Republic has been consolidating its nascent democratic institutions, including new ones called for in the 2015 constitution. In contrast with previous governments and legislatures that resulted from flawed elections, no elections, or coups d'etat, Mr. Touadera and the elected National Assembly appear to enjoy popular legitimacy—for now.

This legitimacy, however, is now undergoing its first serious test. A recurring theme I heard from Central Africans during a recent visit is that they expect their political leaders and the international community to put an end to the rising violence committed by armed groups in 14 of the country’s 16 provinces.

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